The experience of science-technology parks and their ties with the enterprise system, as well as the development of renewable resources and efficient use of energy, headed the agenda of a meeting chaired by Party First Secretary and President of the Republic Miguel Díaz-Canel
Anything that can strengthen the socialist state enterprise – let’s say, for example, the desire to innovate – has unquestionable value today. In this spirit, another of the regular meetings of the country’s leadership, with representatives from the state enterprise system, took place recently in the Palace of the Revolution.
The experience of science-technology parks and their ties with the enterprise system, as well as the development of renewable resources and the efficient use of energy, headed the agenda of a meeting chaired by Communist Party Central Committee First Secretary and President of the Republic Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez.
The impact of knowledge, research and innovation within the state enterprise system was the central concept analyzed during the meeting, also attended by three additional Political Bureau members: Prime Minister Manuel Marrero Cruz; Party Secretary of Organization Roberto Morales Ojeda, and Army Corps General Álvaro López Miera, minister of the Revolutionary Armed Forces.
Addressing the advantages and benefits that scientific-technological parks can provide the enterprise sector, the director of the Havana Scientific-Technological Park, Rafael Luis Torralbas Ezpeleta, recalled that the institution was founded February 4, 2020, the first entity meant to energize such alliances created after the approval of Decree 363 of 2019.
Torralbas Ezpeleta pointed out that the Park was established during a very difficult period, marked by the covid-19 pandemic, but this adversity did not prevent the development of models to conduct the work they wanted to do and take off, he said, adding that, this year, staff is looking to consolidate growth, with a strategic plan through 2026.
“We define our Park,” Torralbas explained, “as an innovation ecosystem for the execution of research, development and innovation projects, and for the incubation of new technology-based companies.”
What is being sought, he stressed, is to provide benefits and incentives that lead to results which impact the country’s economic and social development.
Torralbas Ezpeleta spoke of several concepts: The Park must be a dynamic space – meaning that everything done within the ecosystem must be done more agilely than has been possible in other scenarios within the economy and society; sustainability is of critical importance; relationships between universities and companies must be built; and selection criteria are key to choosing those projects with the greatest economic and social impact.
With a privileged location – as Torralbas defined the Park’s headquarters on the campus of the University of Information Sciences (UCI) – the Scientific Technological Park of Havana has the infrastructure to allow for more than 1,200 specialists to work, noting, “We have attempted to create spaces tailored to the projects we are incubating, to get out of the classic laboratory a bit.”
Many of the Park’s accomplishments, he reported, have had an immediate positive impact on the national environment. There are 36 projects in incubation, involving almost 500 professionals, and export income during the first four months of 2022 was double that generated in the same period last year. This trend, Torralbas insisted, must be maintained and improved.
The Park’s director cited examples of the impact the institution has had in the nation’s state economic sector, and described the high-performance pulmonary ventilator software, developed by the Combiomed Digital Medical Technology Enterprise, as “a very important and challenging project,” in which professionals from the UCI participated.
He mentioned a project undertaken with the tourist transport company Transtur S.A.; as well as what was done in conjunction with the small company EmsiFarma (intelligent equipment for industry), which develops automation solutions for the biotechnological and pharmaceutical industries.
The Park irradiates intelligence, hosting projects that achieve results like a filling machine for the Immunoassay Center, and an autoclave for Aica Laboratories’ serum and blood products plant. All this, as Torralbas said, provides for the companies served, “not only a locally available solution, but also technological sovereignty.”
The voices of enterprise managers followed one another, confirming the success of many projects, like those cited by Torralbas. It was noted that the most successful parks in the world are those where governments, companies and universities have joined forces, and the government has played a key role. There was also talk of developing creative, anti-bureaucratic environments, without useless barriers that separate potential partners.
Prime Minister Manuel Marrero Cruz recognized the concrete achievements, born of the direct links established by a number of companies with the Park, and noted the potential that such an alliance has in terms of research, development, innovation, diversification of financing, international collaboration, and infrastructure.
President Díaz-Canel commented that one of the features that must distinguish “our enterprise sector, our productive sector of goods and services, is that it is innovative, and for it to be innovative, it must, on the one hand, have a direct relationship with the knowledge sector and, on the other, be able to request scientific research to address its problems.”
The President reasoned that the Scientific-Technological Park of Havana, other parks and interface systems that have been created in the country recently, favor the development of relationships between research institutions and enterprises, and thus leave behind “the unidirectional relationships we had at one point, when universities, science, technology and innovation entities, based on their investigations, offered their findings, while the enterprise sector was very unreceptive and, therefore, the research was simply shelved.”
LOOKING TO CHANGE THE PATTERN
The development of renewable resources and the efficient use of energy by Cuban enterprises was the second item on the meeting’s agenda. Rosell Guerra Campaña, head of Renewable Energy Sources at the Ministry of Energy and Mines, presented an introduction to the discussion.
He referred to companies that have installed the necessary technology and are taking advantage of renewable energy sources, citing as a “good national reference” the Electronics Industry Enterprise, which has installed photovoltaic solar systems on its roofs. He described efforts by the Integrated Automation Enterprise, with its headquarters in Havana’s Vedado neighborhood, in an important project of national reference, to convert the building “into the most energy efficient in the country.”
The Telecommunications Company of Cuba S.A. and Aguas de La Habana –which have the first two fleets of electric vehicles in the country in operation, to deliver the services they provide – were also mentioned by Rosell among the examples that are “references for the technological changes that Cuba needs.”
The specialist spoke of the advantages of using solar pumping, moving toward gradually replacing many pieces of equipment that today run on diesel. He highlighted key areas, like the food and sugar industries, in which much potential exists to change the pattern of electrical generation.
President Díaz-Canel, referring to renewable sources and the efficient use of energy, noted, “This is one of the paths forward for a country like ours,” adding that, if special attention should be paid to certain investments, it is precisely those that change the country’s energy profile, given what these lead to less fuel consumption, greater efficiency, with a positive financial impact within the enterprise.
As the meeting drew to a close, Manuel Marrero Cruz emphasized working with great intention on this type of investment that could save the country significant expenses: “It is a matter of survival,” he said.
This is about getting a start, he stressed to the company directors present, and little by little expanding capacity, and seeing how this can contribute not only to the company in terms of savings, but also to the country as a whole, and to the population .